Conservation Futures

Conservation Futures Program


The Spokane County Conservation Futures Program was conceived in 1994 with the voters approval of an advisory ballot measure authorizing a property tax levy of (up-to) 6.25-cents per $1,000 assessed property value, in order to acquire and preserve Spokane County's open space, streams, rivers, and other natural resources. What does this mean? For a home assessed at $250,000 using current Conservation Futures Levy Rate of 3.6 cent per $1,000 assessed value, up to $9 per year is assessed and dedicated to the Conservation Futures Fund to preserve and enhance Spokane County's quality of life. 

As of December 2021,  the Conservation Futures Program has acquired over 9,263 acres owned and managed by Spokane County, City of Spokane, and City of Cheney. To learn more about each acquisition since 1994, check out the Conservation Futures Acquisition History and a map of acquisitions to date!

2021 Nomination Round 

[12/7/21 Update]

NEW! Final Ranking Recommendation Approved by Board of County Commissioners!
Taking into account the evaluation scoring criteria results, public input received (see below), and the property tours as well as a staff recommendation, which took into account title reports, existing legal agreements, potential outside funding opportunities, and other factors, the Land Evaluation Committee unanimously recommended approval of a Final Recommendation for a 2021 Prioritized Acquisition List ("List") to the Spokane County Board of County Commissioners, which approved this conservation acquisition "road map" on 12/7/21. The List will guide Conservation Futures acquisitions through March 2027. 

Background
The Board of County Commissioners approved opening a new Conservation Futures Nomination Round! We accepted completed nomination forms from May 1 through midnight July 31. The outcome of this nomination round will be a ranked, prioritized acquisition list of all nominations received that will be used by staff to guide future open space acquisitions over the next 6 years starting with the top-ranked properties. Staff anticipates that the top 3-5 properties on this list will be acquired over that time period. However, there are many variables including purchase price, outside funding opportunities, and having willing sellers that could increase or decrease the amount of properties acquired.

Public Meeting Info / Comment Period 
Thanks to everyone who attended the public meeting on September 9th, 2021 from 5:00pm - 7:30pm. 

Written Comments:
Thanks to everyone who competed the Public Comment Survey that replaced the hand written comment cards typically accepted at previous in-person meetings. You can now view those written results by clicking here. This report will be shared with the Land Evaluation Committee.  The survey was reopened for one more week following the Public Meeting. The results of that supplemental survey can be found here. 

Maintenance & Operations


Of the total levy revenue generated annually, 25% is dedicated toward maintaining, protecting and enhancing these properties in perpetuity. This translates into improved public access, signage, noxious weed control, and other activities that protect and enhance the public's investment.

Questions? Contact: Paul Knowles, Parks Special Projects Manager at (509) 477-2188 or pknowles@spokanecounty.org.